By Terrie Dawson
Looking good is more important than ever before. Young people are more fascinated with lean, no- fat bodies than healthier fuller bodies. In the quest of achieving that, they starve themselves or indulge in unhealthy food practices. But can anyone achieve a beautiful face and body without living a healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle includes both good nutrition and exercise. Even exercise demands good nutrition which comes from a healthy diet.
Talking of healthy diet, do we wear same clothes in all the weathers? No, because the needs are different in different weathers. Then why is that we are caught with the same eating habits in every decade of our life. It is an established fact that dietary needs of human body change every decade.
Nutritional needs of 20s
This is by far the most active and demanding decade of one’s life. Finishing education, starting a career, getting married, starting a family- all important life’s events generally start in this decade. Physical and mental agility is vital for the coming life for both men and women.
Nutritional requirement in this decade comprises proteins, potassium and omega-3 fats. Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Including them in the breakfast keeps one fuller for a longer time. Skinless white meat, poultry, lean steak, fish, eggs, beans, tofu and low-fat dairy are good sources of protein. Potassium is important for proper functioning of heart and muscles. Green vegetables, fruits plain yoghurt supply all the potassium you need.
Omega-3 fats boost the formation of serotonins, a feel-good hormone in the brain which checks stress and depression- a common problem of modern day hectic lifestyle. Iron intake in women should conform to the recommended dosage: 18mg/day during childbearing years and 27mg/day during pregnancy. Lean beef, clams, oysters and poultry beans, dark leafy vegetables and fruits contain iron. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, so do not forget to combine Vitamin C- rich food like oranges and sweet potatoes and fortified foods: breads, cereals and breakfast within your diet.
Nutritional needs of 30s
30s is the busiest decade of one’s life. Juggling between raising kids to the ever increasing demands of the family, health becomes the last priority. Neglecting health in 30s can result in some precarious consequences.
A healthy diet in this decade should include folate, phytonutrients and fiber. Folate is the most important nutrient for all women of childbearing age. Folate averts any birth defects in children and also helps in the formation of DNA and new cells. Chickpea, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, avocados, orange juice and fortified whole grains contain folate.
Phytonutrients have antioxidants. Antioxidants slow down the process of aging and prevent development of cancer besides warding off heart diseases. They are not as important as vitamins and minerals but they are the ones that keep you going. So include them in your daily diet. Mainly plants, dark chocolate, red wine, tea are some of the foods that contain phytonutrients.
Fiber is known to reduce cholesterol and check blood sugar. Fiber reduces bloating and makes one feel fuller for a longer time. Fruits vegetables, barley, oats, whole wheat bread and bran contain fiber.
Iron is important for women who are planning a family.
Nutritional needs for 40s
The 40s is the decade when the metabolism slows down. An additional intake of 100 calories is required every day to boost up the metabolism to supply energy.
The key nutrients of this decade are: calcium, vitamin D and fiber. Calcium absorption declines in this decade as the acid required for the absorption is not produced amply by the stomach. The recommended dosage is 1000mg/day. Supplements can also be taken as fish, eggs, milk, and dry breakfast cereal do not supply enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D is the nutrient that can absorb calcium. A daily supplement of 600 to 1000 IU is necessary. It also maintains immune system, protects against breast cancer and colon cancer and prevents hair loss.
Iron is still important for women as they are nearing menopause.
One should not forget to add all the other essential nutrients in their daily diet, besides eating the above mentioned nutrients (which have their own relative importance in the given decade). Including all the necessary nutrients in your diet ensures a healthy living.
- Terrie Dawson is a health writer and fitness enthusiast. She advocates the idea to consult an online doctor for free diagnosis and medical consultation. Besides this she contributes for various online health publications that mainly cover weight-loss measures, health guides and fashion. When she’s is not educating her readers with her writings, she’s most likely educating herself by reading her favorite stuff.